Monday, September 27, 2010

There Are No Atheists in Foxholes

One of the reasons I decided to start a blog was that I had begun to see my arguments used by others in more public fora than I had been using.  I don't know how the other writers came up with these arguments.  I do know that the following is a point I have been making for years and that others have started to make it as well:

"I have very little doubt that stuck in a foxhole under an intense artillery barrage I just might revert to my early training and start praying for some invisible daddy in the sky to save me.  Why?  Because my capacity to reason would be overwhelmed by my emotional need.  Little do believers realize that this pithy little assertion of theirs ("There are no atheists in foxholes") is nothing but an admission that religion is a delusion meant to meet the emotional needs of the believer."

If you hear that old chestnut about atheists in foxholes, just say:

"So, you admit your belief is just a delusion designed to meet your emotional needs?"

You can see, too, that there is a bit of a threat in this one.  The believer is engaging in a little wishful thinking here.  To bring this point to the surface you can also say:

"I guess you would really like to put us atheists in fear for our lives just to teach us a 'lesson', wouldn't you?"

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